Thursday while President Barack Obama addressed the latest developments on the two health care workers who have contracted Ebola from their patient the late Thomas Eric Duncan he said he has no “philosophical objection necessarily to a travel ban,” but added he is listening to experts who are advising him against it.
“One issue that I want to address because i know this is a topic consistently in the news is the issue of a travel ban,” Obama said. “And I know that you’ve heard from some public health experts about this but i want to make sure that everybody is clear about the issue. I don’t have a philosophical objection necessarily to a travel ban if that is the thing that is going to keep the American people safe. But the problem is that in all of the discussions I’ve had thus far with experts in the field, experts in infectious disease is that say travel ban is less effective than the measures that we are currently instituting that involve screening passengers coming from West Africa.”
“First of all, screening them before they get on the plane there, to see whether they are showing signs of the disease,” he continued. “And then screening them again when they get here, taking their temperature. And now what the CDC is doing is gathering all of their information, assuming they are not showing any signs of illness, because if they are showing signs of illness, obviously we want to make sure that they are directed to a well-equipped and well-prepared facility. But if they are not showing any signs, we still want to have their information, where they live, where they are staying, multiple contact information, that not only the federal government keeps but that will also be forwarded to the state where they reside. If we institute a travel ban instead of the protocols that we put in place now, history shows that there is a likelihood of increased avoidance.”
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